Categories: Campus Life

10 Pieces Of Decor You Need For Your Dorm Room

Maybe I’m the only person that gets overly excited planning my dorm each year. Or maybe, since you clicked on this article, you share my enthusiasm for decorating. Whether you’re a dorm decor fanatic or are scrambling to get your room together, here are some staple pieces you might want to look into.

1. Nightstand

Depending on how much space you have, I recommend investing in a nightstand. Some tables can get a bit pricey, but they’re definitely worth the splurge in the long-run. When I was entering my sophomore year, I purchased a nightstand similar to this one from Amazon. I have no buyer’s remorse! Not only does my nightstand offer an additional space for storage (it has a shelf and a drawer!), but it also has longevity. I definitely plan on using my table post-graduation. A storage trolley works just as well, and might even save you some money.

2. Oil Diffuser

It’s no secret that college is stressful. Between a packed schedule of classes and extracurriculars, you’ll need some time to unwind. Oil diffusers are amazing for when you want to practice self-care in your dorm. Since most colleges prohibit candles, diffusers are a safer alternative. They are also relatively cheap and can be found at any department store. I purchased mine at my local TJ Maxx for around $10. I consider this to be a steal, seeing how much use I’ve gotten out of it. Essential oils are everywhere, too, so you’re sure to find a scent that’ll relieve stress. I found a pack of holiday-themed oils on Amazon that I absolutely adore.

3. Wall Art


This one’s a no-brainer. If not properly decorated, your white-brick dorm walls look more like those of a prison cell. Posters are key to transforming your room into a personal, comfortable space. Society6 has a ton of great options. I especially love their flower market posters, though these type of prints can be found anywhere online. I also endorse shopping at small businesses for wall art. Etsy and any locally-run shops are the perfect places to support independent artists. While studying abroad in London, I was fortunate to have a market near campus where vendors sold their own art! Coming back, my suitcase was packed with posters.

4. Egg Crates

You weren’t expecting egg crates to be on this list, were you? Honestly, these are a lifesaver. I bought a small blue one and a jumbo-sized lilac one from HAY. You can find any variety of colors and sizes on their online store. Mine were on the cheaper end, with the smaller one $5 and the larger one around $10-$15. Egg crates are amazing for storage: I filled my blue one with makeup and my lilac one with books. HAY’s eye-popping crates also add a hint of color to your room. Practical and cute!

5. Books

Maybe I’m just biased as an English major. Books are great for two reasons: first, they’re (usually) entertaining, and second, they’re the perfect dorm decor. If you have the space for them, coffee table books are a must-have. I thrifted a Chanel book and an enormous book of art that I keep on my bedside table. If you, like most other college students, are on a budget, you can use magazines in lieu of coffee table books.

6. Jewelry Trays


What are these called, anyway? I refer to them as “jewelry trays,” though I’ve also heard “trinket dishes” and “catchall trays.” Whatever they’re named, they’re both a multipurpose and delightful piece of dorm decor. As you might have guessed, I use mine to store my rings and earrings. They’re also convenient for holding chapstick, keys, Airpods, or whatever else you may see fit. You can find them in so many different shapes, from a seashell to a flower. I got a heart-shaped one from Target for $2, but there’s an even wider selection on Etsy!

7. Statement Rug

Let’s face it: normal rugs are boring. Add a patterned rug to liven up your dorm decor! I have a baby blue, Parisian-style rug that has followed me throughout all three years (soon to be four) of college. It ties in all the colors I use in decorating (blue, pink, and white), as well as makes my room feel more homey. If I’m remembering correctly, I got my rug from HomeGoods. If you want to shop more ethically, try searching a thrift store or flea market for a carpet you like. No one wants to go barefoot on linoleum floors.

8. Full Length Mirror

I’m sure you saw this one coming. Makeup mirrors are great to have, but they don’t do the job like a full-body mirror. I recommend fixing your mirror to the back of your door to clear up some space. That way, you can also give your outfit a double-check before leaving for class. Dorm decor can save you from fashion mishaps.

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9. Flowers

Though not a permanent decoration, flowers are a fantastic addition to any room. I know how it feels to be trapped inside your dorm during finals week, cranking out five essays at once. Flowers can bring a bit of the outdoors into your space. No need to leave your building to stop and smell the roses! My roommates and I love buying inexpensive bouquets at Trader Joe’s.

10. Projector

Projectors are another dorm staple you’ll want to invest in. They can range in price from around $60-$150 (for reference, mine was about $85). If you have any roommates, I suggest splitting the cost with them as I did with mine. TVs are often difficult to move and can take up a lot of room. To maximize the space you have in your dorm, ditch the TV and go with the projector. Of course, you’ll want to get a portable one to bring to school every year. Be sure to purchase one with an HDMI cable, too; that way, you can access any streaming service from your laptop. Movie nights just got 10x more fun.

No matter the size of your dorm, you can always turn it into a cozy, well-decorated space that suits you. Before heading back to school, cultivate your dream dorm on Pinterest. Inspiration also strikes where least expected: explore different stores and websites for ideas for dorm decor.

If you have any more dorm decor tips, feel free to leave them in the comments below!

Feature image source:


Jill Schuck

Hi everyone! My name is Jill, and I'm a senior at Trinity College in Hartford, CT. There, I'm studying creative writing and sociology, with plans to work in publishing. Aside from reading and writing, I enjoy traveling and practicing self-care. If you want to connect, follow my Instagram @jillschuck!

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